Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has shown a strong business growth due to its focus on digital commerce. RIL, last week, posted a consolidated net profit fall of 15 per cent to Rs 15,792 crore for the quarter ended 31 December, 2022 (Q3FY23) compared to Rs 18,549 crore reported in the year-ago period. The conglomerate, while showing ‘strong balance sheet and robust cash flows’ has recently shown great inclination towards digital commerce. A number of businesses have shown growth numbers through adoption of digital commerce and omnichannel retail. “Our strong balance sheet and robust cash flows remains the cornerstone of our commitment in growing existing businesses as well as investing in new opportunities,” said Mukesh Ambani.
Reliance Retail, in particular, recorded its highest-ever quarterly EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) at Rs 4,773 crore, up 24.9 per cent on-year. JioMart too has strengthened its catalogue by 71 per cent sequentially while expanding seller base by 83 per cent on-quarter during the period in focus.
RIL’s digital retail focus
Reliance’s JioMart, according to the company’s earnings report, expanded its active customer base on Whatsapp by 37 per cent on a month-on-month basis. It said that the company registered a nine times increase in the number of orders on Whatsapp since the launch. JioMart and Whatsap had, earlier last year, announced the integration of the online shopping platform with the messaging app.
In grocery business, digital commerce business saw steady revenue growth driven by festive demand and expansion of MilkBasket in new cities. “Grocery New Commerce revenue growth driven by new merchant onboarding and efficient supply chain which resulted in superior delivery capabilities for merchant partners,” the company said.
For the fashion & lifestyle segment too, a focus on omnichannel retail with the launch of mono-brand websites for Tumi, Hunkemoller and Pottery Barn during the period helped the growth. AJIO too expanded its customer base by 33 per cent and catalogue size by 62 per cent YoY. Urban Ladder saw a revenue growth of 21 per cent YoY with growth in store performance as well as digital platforms. Reliance Retail had purchased 96 per cent stake in Urban Ladder for Rs 182.12 crore, in 2020.
Reliance’s consumer electronics business saw an uptick with digital commerce order going up 5X on-year, courtesy festive offers, category-led campaigns, financing schemes. Reliance facilitated this growth by expanding over 2.2 Million sqft of warehouse space. “Digital Commerce and New Commerce businesses continue to demonstrate strength of their business model and grew 38 per cent YoY and contributed to 18 per cent of the revenue,” the company said. RIL credited its EBITDA increase to a strong growth in the subscriber base for its digital business among other things. Highlighting Reliance’s focus on digital commerce, Isha M Ambani, Executive Director, Reliance Retail Ventures Limited, said “We remain steadfast in offering the best shopping experience across all our stores and digital platforms to deepen our bond with our customers and vendor partners.”